(WEDNESDAY, THE 20th JUNE, 2001)

        The House met at 10 a.m. with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for transaction of Government Business.


        Starred questions Nos. 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65 and 67 with supplementaries thereto, Starred question No. 66 lapsed since the member was absent and starred questions Nos.68 upto 82 without supplementary, were disposed of.


        Shri T.H. Rangad, Minister in-charge of Home (Police) gave a statement to the House with regard to his replies to supplementary questions on Starred question No.40 of 19-06-2001.


        Dr. Mukul Sangma, raised a point of order in connection with the replies by the Minister in-charge P.H.E. to his Supplementary questions on starred question No.39 dated 19-06-2001 to which the Minister in-charge had assured the House to come with a statement today.

        Clarifying the point, Shri S. Mulieh, Minister in-charge P.H.E., stated that he had written a letter to the Speaker seeking his permission to give a statement to the House to correct his replies to Supplementary questions on starred question 39 of 19-06-2001 asked by the hon. Member, Dr. Mukul Sangma yesterday but he has received no communication at all.

        Making an observation on the issue, the Chair, however, ruled that no such written permission is necessary for the Minister in-charge for making a statement in the House and requested him to come with a statement to correct his earlier replies to Supplementaries on Starred question No.39 tomorrow, the 21st June, 2001.


        Under Rule 49(A) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya  Legislative Assembly, Shri P.M. Syiem, raised a zero hour discussion on a news item published in the local Khasi Daily "U Peitngor" dated 15-06-2001 under the caption "Kular kai u Minister C & R.D. khlem pat leh ei ei ia ki Service Rules ki gramsevak".

        The Hon. Member was astonished to  know that no action has been taken by the concerned department to finalise the service rules of the gramsevaks till  now inspite of the assurance already given by the Minster in-charge in the floor of the House during the last Session of the Assembly.

        He called for a categorical reply from the Minister in-charge as to what action Government has taken on this and whether the problems as faced by the gramsevaks have been solved once and for all ?

        Clarifying the position, Shri O.N. Chyrmang, C & R.D. Minister, apprised the hon. Member from Mylliem that the Service Rules of the gramsevaks and gramsevikas have been under process with the  Personnel Department for some time past and the queries as received were clarified from time to time.

        However, he said that in the meantime, the Third Meghalaya Pay Commission has recommended some promotional avenues for these cadres which required to be incorporated into the  draft service rules and it was recommended that there should be grade I gramsevak, Sr. gramsevak and Extension officer (general) to which the Government has passed a resolution to approve the recommendation of the 3rd Pay Commission for creation and upgradation and that the matter is presently under process separately with Finance Department.

        Further, the Minister in-charge informed that keeping in view the recent developments, the Draft Service Rules in question, will have to be further considered and examined by the department and by the Government and that ultimately the same along with relevant file will be sent to the Personnel Department for necessary action.


        Shri P.M. Syiem, called the attention of the Minister in-charge Home (Jails) under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business to the new item published in Local English Daily "Shillong Times" dated 12th June, 2001 under the caption "MPHRC demands white paper on condition of Mental Jail".

        Mentioning of the pathetic condition of the Mental Jail at Mawlai, the hon. Member from Mylliem lamented at the pitiable plight of the inmates in this jail comprising of a good number of mentally retarded persons that require the immediate attention of the Government and in that context, the hon. Member called for a white paper from the State Government on this and also requested for the setting up of a State Level Co-ordination Committee to look into the affairs of this mental jail.

        In reply to the above Calling Attention, Dr. Donkupar Roy, Minister in-charge of Health and Family Welfare gave a detailed statement informing the hon. Member from Mylliem that the Meghalaya State Home for the Mentally ill people was set up in 1976 at Mawlai by utilizing part of the Security Prison set up for temporary accommodation of Naga underground outfit and that since then with annual repairs, the Institute has been maintained by Home Jails and P.W.D. However, he mentioned that the  place was congested and the buildings were not constructed as per prescribed designs for accommodation and treatment of the mentally ill people and that prior to the taking over by Health Department, the facilities and services given to the inmates were as that provided in the Jail Manual where the old custodial care was that the inmates were treated as Convicts in the Mental Jail but when the Supreme Court in its landmark judgement has decried the use of the  expression "Mental Jail" and directed that it should be called as "Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences" with proper facilities not only for confinement of mentally ill people but also to provide them with best of services for cure and reformation so that when the inmates are released from the Institute they could be able to lead a normal life again.

        The Minister in-charge further informed the august House that in order to provide better environment and treatment facilities it has been decided to upgrade the existing Institute and construct a new building at a new location and that with this objective in view, Government have sanctioned Rs.172 lakhs for the new construction of the Meghalaya Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences at the Pasteur Hill during March 98 but unfortunately, however, owing to delay in tree felling permissions from Forest Department which came only in March, 2001, the work will start now and assured that the Health Department will treat this Institution as Health Care and restorative facilities and that the department would examine shifting the location and facilities to more humane and decent environment shortly.


        The Speaker announce that  he had called a meeting in his office Chamber yesterday, the 19th June, 2001 and it was attended by Shri M. M. Danggo, Deputy Speaker, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shri H. B. Dan, Minister in-charge of Revenue, Shri M. Rava, Minister in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs, Shri D. N. Joshi, Shri C.R. Marak, Shri Salseng Marak, Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, Shri N. N. Simchang and Shri P. M. Syiem to review its earlier decision disallowing cut motions on Demands for Grants falling under the purview of the Standing Committees which had aroused the sentiment of the House and that this meeting held yesterday, the 19-06-2001, had accordingly reviewed its earlier decision that henceforth, there should be Cut Motions on Demands for Grants on those departments falling under the purview of the Standing Committees. But since the rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business were silent and not clear on this, the Chair, will refer this matter to the Rule Committee for further examination and to report to the House in due course.


        Shri D.N. Joshi, continued his discussion on the budget and urged upon the  Government to create a congenial atmosphere to attract tourist and people from outside. He suggested measures to improve the infrastructure and to give priority to Tourism. With regard to Education, he suggested that Provident Fund Scheme should be created for the teachers and pensionary benefits be given to them.

        Other members who took part in the general discussion on the budget during the day, were (1) Shri E.R. Kharkongor (2) Shri R. Ranee (3) Shri K.C. Boro (4) Shri Tuberlin Lyngdoh Nonglait (5) Shri P.M. Syiem (6) Shri N.N. Simchang (7) Shri F.W. Momin and (8) Shri T.C. Lyngdoh.

        Since the time was up, Shri T.C. Lyngdoh's deliberations remains inconclusive, he will continue on the next day.


        The House rose at 2 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Thursday, the 21st June, 2001.


Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.